Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gingerbread Houses

Last post of my posting marathon....this one is for my mom!

We went to Beaver Creek last night and they had a Gingerbread House Competition.
There were amateur divisions, kid divisions, and professional divisions.
Here are a few things that I liked from the houses that I thought I would pass on to you, mom!

These little reindeer are super cute
(couldn't figure out how to turn my pic, sorry)

Love the shredded wheat roof

This one was just cool

The little old lady that lives in a (gingerbread) shoe

Nightmare on Christmas House
(I think that is what it is called..that old movie...???)

I liked the fence on this one

Grand Professional Champion
(4 stories tall!)

Just thought this one was nice

Cool idea for trees

Lots of little sugar people

Last Day with Don and Kathy

On our last day with Don and Kathy, .....

-Don, Kathy, and Justin hit up some Black Friday sales in Glenwood
-We all went to the Beaver Creek Tree Lighting fiesta (and missed the tree lighting)
-Saw special fireworks (Macklin loves those)
-Saw some super cool ginger bread houses (see next post)
-Went out to eat at Don's favorite Mexican place in town
-Gave lots of hugs and kisses to Don and Kathy

Thanks so much for coming you two! The time went by too fast!

Candles lit and ready for the ceremony
(too bad we got too cold and had to go inside for most of it!)

Cutie boy

Loves his grandparents!

Hugs!

Crawling

video

Macklin is moving forward!
He first moved forward in a crawling motion (remember, he previously was crawling but was only going backwards) on Monday afternoon when Eric got into town. I was so excited to see a real crawl (vs. an army drag)! I took this video when Don and Kathy were here on Thanksgiving Day! We are proud of his movement. Crawling at about 8 months...not bad!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving!!!!

Thanksgiving was a fantastic event in the Brandt home! Kathy worked so hard (most of Wednesday and Thursday) to prepare a delicious meal that was enjoyed by all six of us! We had a huge turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes (mashed by Eric!), green bean casserole, cranberries, rolls, stuffing, gravy, corn....you name it...we ate it! Oh, and brownies, fruit cobbler, and pumpkin pie! Huge thanks to Kathy Schlottach for all of her hard work.

Macklin had a great time with his first Thanksgiving as well. He ate his first turkey and mashed potatoes and loved them! I think it is time to move along in the solid food feeding!

At this time of year, we can't help but think of all that we are thankful for....
-Our Heavenly Father who offers us the free gift of salvation
-Our amazing families that love and support us
-Our friends (from STL, Bloomington, Columbia, EVHS, Vail Valley, and around the country) that we get to enjoy life with and who continually help us any time we are in need
-Our healthy, precious son
-Our crazy pup, Baxter
-The blessings of a home and food to eat
-Our own health
-Our jobs (well, Justin's job and my side jobs)
-The ability to stay home with Macklin
-Our involvement in watching kids come to know Jesus through Young Life
...
the list could go on and on!

Thank you to all for being in our lives!


The table is set...
(look mom, we used the china!)

And the turkey on the table!

Don is ready to eat!

Macklin is dressed up for Thanksgiving dinner!

Here is the little plate that I made Macklin. He gets to eat off of the China too!
He had green beans, squash, mashed potatoes, turkey, carrots, and baked apples.
Can you tell he was anxious to start his meal?

One happy boy!

I love my little man!

All four of us.
I took this to compare to our first Thanksgiving away from STL two years ago when it was just the three of us. I love that we have four now!

Christmas Tree Hunt

While the turkey was cooking today, we set out on our annual Christmas Tree Cutting Adventure. We loaded up Macklin and Mema and Grandpa and were equipped with our snowshoes and saw. We set out toward Sylvan Lake State Park just outside of Eagle, CO.

It was a cold day (like 13 degrees I think), but we didn't let that stop us. We bundled up and trekked out to find that perfect tree! This was the first time in 4 years that we have not gone at night...it was a bit easier to see the trees out there!

Macklin is ready for his first real adventure in his backpack!

Justin's Dad even sported some snowshoes for a bit! Justin showed him how to put them on!

Ready to go!

Our tree!
(To everyone not from the mountains...this is what a real tree from the forrest looks like...not quite like the ones from the Wal-mart parking lot :)

Proud grandparents!

Happy family after the tree hunt is complete.

Justin jumping off a bench. Check out how much snow there is!

Here is a little video of us in the forrest. It was so beautiful!
video

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Opening Day at Beaver Creek

We were super excited to get out for the opening day at Beaver Creek today! There was tons of great snow on the ground and Justin and I enjoyed the time out together! Macklin's Mema and Grandpa hung with him as we went out to play. Here are a few pics of me tele-skiing.

On a side note...I forgot how hard tele-skiing is. At first I was dissapointed that we had to come back for Justin's basketball practice at 2pm, but after hitting a few runs, it was clear that I was not going to last all day. We had a blast though (especially on this tree run where we found about two feet of powder).

Now...to figure out how I am going to get out the rest of the season!

(It was freezing...hence you cannot see my face.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Welcome Mema and Grandpa!

Welcome Mema and Grandpa!
Thanks for coming to see me!

At story time before Mema and Grandpa came.

Waiting at the airport....

Yah, they are here!

So happy to see each other! (I promise that Macklin was happy!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

First Attempt at Finger Painting

So I got this great idea that I would get Macklin's hand print and turn them into turkey place cards for Thanksgiving. I thought..."I will just have Macklin finger paint and I will get a few hand prints." Boy, was I wrong! Our first attempt at finger painting was a huge failure! The paint failed. Getting a hand print failed.

It took me longer to make the paint than I thought (online recipe), so I had to postpone it until the next day. Well, that darn cornstartch is wicked stuff and it turned my finger paint into this weird gel-solid thing. I tried to water it down and re-heat it, but it didn't really work. Also, the brown (for the proposed turkeys) I tried to make was a strange green color now.

I am persistent and I tried it anyway. I placed Mack on the ground on a sheet of paper with all the paints around him in a disposable diaper. He played a bit, and squished it through his fingers. He had fun for about 6 minutes and then was angry that he was covered in this weird stuff. We headed to the bath to clean off, but the fun lasted just a bit too long and I never saw anything that looked like a hand print.

But...my boy still looks cute covered in weird goo!


Also, here are some other cutie pics we took the other day!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Polar Bear Weekend

Everyone will be happy to know that each of the Brandts survived our first weekend apart while Justin and I went to Polar Bear Weekend with Young Life. It was a great weekend and we are so thankful for Sabrina and Ryan Smiley for taking care of little Macklin!

Leaving was the hardest part. I wasn't quite packed up when Sabrina came over Friday afternoon...which didn't help. I thought I just had to grab a few more things, but then I lingered and then I cried! Macklin was crying; I was crying! I only cried until Eagle (which I thought was pretty good). And then I began my focus for the weekend - the hearts of the girls in my cabin.

Don't get me wrong...I thought of Macklin every minute of the weekend, but I think I handled things pretty well. Other than pumping 6 times a day, I didn't really let me aching heart pull me away from the girls at camp.

Sabrina did a fantastic job with him (but I didn't expect anything less). I came home to a clean house, completed (and folded) laundry, clean dishes, flowers and a card from "Macklin", and dinner ready to eat! I don't even know how she had time to play with Mack, feed him, get him to nap, and even take him to the rec center to go swimming! So crazy! She is a natural and I can't even wait until I get to return the favor! Love you Smileys!

As for camp, it was awesome! Below are some pics of my cabin along with the whole Vail Valley group. We had a ton of fun with 500 kids at club, the huge swing, playing in the snow, going in the hot tub, eating yummy food, and having some awesome conversations about God. It is amazing how 15 girls in a cabin can be in 15 totally different places in their relationships with God. I feel so fortunate to be in these girls lives. Please pray for my time with these girls when we are back at home. I would love to be there for each of them, but am asking God to show me which girls to really pursue! Thanks!


Whole Vail Valley Crew in the Snow on the Last Day

Whole Crew at the Crud War

Swing

My Sweet Cabin


This is not from camp, but is a pic of some amazing girls that come over on Friday mornings to have breakfast with me and talk about life. Most are on the dance team and had their Regional competition the weekend of Polar Bear (but they got 2nd and rocked it so it was worth it!).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Taking a Leap

The time has come and I am ready to take the leap! “What leap?” you might ask. The leap to leave my tiny little son for multiple days. I have been thinking about this for a while now, wondered if I was ready or not. As the time approaches, I know I am making the correct choice. God has given me the chance to be used at Young Life camp this weekend and He has also blessed us with wonderful friends (The Smileys) to love on Macklin while we are gone – Easy!

Justin and I will leave sweet Macklin at home with Sabrina and Ryan around 5pm on Friday, only to see him again around 3pm on Sunday. I think the goodbye will be hard but I know I will cry when I see him on Sunday! Am I over-reacting? Seriously, we are going to be gone for less than 48 hours. But this little man has been attached to me for the past seven and a half months only to be separated by a cross country meet here or there or his 11 hour nights of sleep. I love picking him up in the morning to see his smiling face look at me and wrap up his perfect mini body in my arms. I won’t go on…of course I love all of him, but I can be strong for two days, right?

Really, I can do it. Our time with our high school friends at Crooked Creek is an incredible opportunity to be with kids as they experience the incredible gospel of Christ and have the chance to respond to it. What a blessing it will be to get to walk along side of them for this weekend in their lives!

So, if you are reading this, please pray for our group of 56 leaders and kids from Vail Valley Young Life headed to Crooked Creek Ranch outside of Winter Park, CO. Pray that God will bust into kids hearts like never before. Pray that kids will see hope in some of their seemingly hopeless lives and that God will rock their worlds! Thank you for your prayers!

We will let you know how it goes on Sunday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Boy and His Dog

It is starting early...the bond between a boy and his dog.
Macklin has always liked watching Baxter move about. But recently, he has been wanting to touch him and pull his hair much more. He is curious to find out about Baxter and our normally crazy pup is gracious enough to let him explore a bit. Baxter has been so great around Mack. He is always up for giving Macklin a "cleaning" with his kisses, but never is rough. The only time we worry about the two of them is when Baxter is hyper and
his big 'ole paws are just flying around like crazy.

Baxter just likes to be close to the action.

I love this pic because Mack looks like he is proud of "getting away" from Bax.
(Even though I just put him down there and really Mack is moving backwards!)

Here it looks like Bax is pawing Mack's feet....not the case...just a funny pic!

Just hanging out

Buddies

Macklin loves Baxter!

And the kisses come!

Macklin asks for more...

And he got it!

But, let's be honest, this is all Baxter really cares about..."Where is that smell coming from?"